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France, 1893. Joseph Bouvier attempts to shoot his love who refused to marry him and to commit suicide. Upon release from the filthy asylum where he was placed, with bullets still remaining in his head, he wanders the country roads and rapes and murders many teenagers over years. The judge Rousseau captures him, but to serve his ambition seeks to avoid that Bouvier is simply declared insane.
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The Judge and the Assassin (French: Le Juge et l'assassin) is a 1976 French drama film directed by Bertrand Tavernier that stars Philippe Noiret, Isabelle Huppert, Michel Galabru, and Jean-Claude Brialy. Set in France in the 1890s, it shows the capture after a trail of rapes and murders of a possibly deranged ex-soldier, based on the historical Joseph Vacher, and how he is befriended by an ambitious judge who leads him into incriminating himself. The film won two César Awards in 1977.